"For the past nine years, random samplings of New York City polling places have found many with a 70 percent to 80 percent barrier to access for individuals with disabilities," said Julia Pinover, an attorney with nonprofit group Disability Rights Advocates.
The New York City Board of Elections told CNNMoney that it has determined that 57 of its 1,255 polling sites do not meet ADA standards. Among other things, it is mailing letters to offer voters at those 57 sites the option of transferring their registration to nearby sites that are accessible.
Advocates, as well as the small business people working in the field, say officials often cite a lack of funding as the reason more polling stations aren't accessible.
According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Congress gave states about $3.25 billion from 2003 until 2010 to improve the voting process, the vast amount of which was for purchasing fully accessible voting equipment and computerized statewide voter registration lists. But a very small piece of that funding was made available to make polling centers themselves accessible.
Doug Lewis, executive director of the National Association of Election Officials, said polling center accessibility is better today than in the past.
"But are we fully compliant with the law all over the country? No," he said. "There is a money crunch right now. When that happens, progress stops."